Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Safe Driving Practices & Things To Remember When Purchasing A New Family Car ♥

Since becoming a mother I've become a much better and more safety conscious driver. My hands are now always in the 'ten to two' position on the steering wheel, I'm more alert and aware of other road users and I never speed. In fact, I've never had any points on my driving license - thank goodness - but I know how easy penalty points are to pick up, even for the slightest of driving offenses.

I think it's being aware of the precious cargo of my two sons I'm driving around now, that have helped me to be a more careful driver. After all, it's my job as their mother to keep them safe and the car is one of the places that I take maximum care with them - I hear of too many road traffic accidents in our local area not to be vigilant with our safety in the car.

Getting a new car can be quite costly and cars are a big investment, after all, it'll probably end up being something you use every single day, so finding the right one and the most reliable one for your family is important.

There are a few things I'll be keeping in mind when purchasing a new car and I thought I'd share these with any fellow parents who are contemplating purchasing a new family car.

1. Safety is a priority
No parent is willingly going to put their children in an unsafe car, hence why I'm more inclined to want a new car. However, if you're going for a second hand car make sure you do thorough checks before purchasing. Bring a mechanic or a family member who you know is knowledgeable about cars, with you to the viewing and let them check the specifics of the car and determine in just how good a condition it is.

Also, make sure to pay special attention to tyres as they are crucial for keeping the car in road worthy condition. After five years in use your tyres should be changed and your tyres should be inspected at least once a year by a professional to make sure they're in good condition. Looking for new tyres with fitting in Stirling? Head to Fife Autocentre, they give free fitting service with every purchase of car tyres from them.

Tyres are essentially the 'shoes of your car' and are the only part of a car to actually make contact with the road, so their condition is paramount for the safety of everyone in your vehicle. There are several signs of tyre deterioration that you should be on the look out for when inspecting your tyres - damage, persistant loss of inflation or tyre pressure, cracking of the walls of the tyre, worn down treads, vibrations through the tyres when you drive, etc. All of these can contribute to accidents and can be avoided simply by investing in new tyres.

If your tyres are more than ten years old, they need to be replaced, even if they appear to be in good condition. You can see the age of your tyres by seeing the date of manufacture, located on the tyre sidewall. The last four digits refer to the date of manufacture, so you can always tell how old your tyres are and make a note of when they need to be replaced.

2. Determine your budget
Although I know I would love a brand new car, I know that it would be quite costly and with two kids to pay for I have to judge whether or not I can take on an extra bill every month. If you think you can afford it then car finance can be a great route to go down when it comes to being able to purchase your new car and pay back it back on a weekly or monthly basis, but remember to look carefully at the interest rate (APR) to make sure you're getting a good deal. This is an option I'm currently looking into, I just need to work out my monthly budget.

3. Take your family size into account (and if it'll be growing some more!)
As I said I need a five door car as I have two children. There's no point in sticking with a small car just because you've had it for a long time. I need more space in the car and I really do need those extra doors for getting everyone in and out easily.

It's important to take into account how much space you'll need for car seats and booster seats as your child will be using them for a considerable time. We're using the Maxi Cosi Axissfix with Beau and the Graco Milestone All-in-one with Tyler, which are both quite large car seats, so having the right amount of space to fit them both correctly is crucial. Also, it's important to think about whether or not your family will be growing some more, going for a bigger car can help you in the future by not having to upgrade or change your car again too soon.

4. The Economical Aspects
It's important to take into account, when changing your car - the cost of insurance on the new car - whether it will be going up or down, how much tax you'll have to pay on the car each year and petrol/diesel costs (if you're going up an engine size).

5. The age of the car
I've recently discovered that some insurance companies are refusing to accept new policies on cars that are over ten years old. This means that you could be shelling out money on a car that's perfect for you, only to then not be able to insure it. If you can afford to get a newer car then definitely go for it.

Remembering these five tips will help you to choose the right car for your family and your budget.


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